The Definitive Windows 8 Review And User Guide

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xenon2000

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Windows 8 is great for tablets and phones. But it does not have folders like iOS and Android. Huge oversight as I don't want to scroll forever or use the zoom out feature all the time.

No clock showing at all times by default. Not sure if you can add that. Sure you can likely add a clock tile, but it would be gone when you scroll around. Not a big deal, but I do like my clock visible all the time.

Why bury the shutdown, restart, sleep options?

Why is the main "start menu" tile view the only option (of 3) that you can't choose a photo as the backdrop? I don't want to patch a dll with a 3rd party app. That should be an option handled by Microsoft.

Why doesn't the Start screen span multiple screens on my multi-monitor setup?

Given that I hate most of the "Modern UI" tile app, most of my apps put me in Desktop view anyways. So why get rid of the start button? After using 3rd party start buttons, both the start button and start screen feature easily live together nicely so desktop uses can easily use both methods.

I don't want to use my keyboard/mouse desktop like a touchscreen tablet.
 

ceh4702

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In windows 8 from the desktop you can use Windows explorer. At least you could from the Release Preview. You can show windows explorer using one of the built in shortcuts. It does not show up by default.
 

aarowsmith

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Getting rid of Aeroglass is a big step backwards, why? Because it makes Windows look like pre XP and almost as bad as Windows 98. Why would I buy a operating system that goes backwards in technology and look ? We have had touch screens since the 1990's and look how popular that was ? It failed except only on IPAD's' and IPHONE's. And now people are losing Windows Media on version 8, unless they pay extra for it just to watch DVD's !!! Come on Microsoft, WIndows 7 Media Center is always included and you can watch DVD's too. It's just a step backwards into the future where Microsoft has become Apple, where everyone will have to pay as they go for every feature they call Apps, you will pay for everything you will do on a computer. Good bye freeware or open source software that you physically own and hello to Cloud Computing. Where every software is not owned by you, but only exist in cyberspace. And you will pay per use, everytime you blink and breathe in, you wll pay yet again and again.....so forth and so on forever.
 

xenon2000

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FYI, Windows Explorer is now officially called File Explorer. And by default it already has a pinned taskbar icon in desktop view for those looking for files.
 

swordrage

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"Oddly, when you have so many apps open that you run out of space on the Switcher, apps start disappearing. ............... .. ......your vertical resolution" (Paragrapph: 4, page: Switcher). Now I am thinking whether to upgrade or to wait.
 
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Win8 is all good for me -- have been using it since summer, upgraded officially Friday.

I use Win8 on a non-touch laptop, a touch tablet, and a two-screen setup (the touch tablet with a non-touch second monitor). It works easily and fluidly in all modes -- sometimes I don't even really notice when I'm using the touchpad or touchscreen or mouse, and I move back and forth easily among them all.

The learning curve for me was 30 seconds the first time I used it on the touch-slate (to learn how the edges were used) and 0 seconds to adapt to the non-touch laptop (since the mouse/touchpad does exactly the same thing as touch -- there's really nothing to learn and all modes work well).

I like the keyboard, but am very partial to Messagease -- I hope that keyboard will come to Win8 soon.
 
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These are the true processor specifics for Windows 8, it's not true that if you run Vista or 7 you can upgrade.
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2 (more info)

I run windows 7 and can't upgrade to windows 8 because my P4 3ghz processor doesnt support the NX bit.

Save youself time and money run the windows8 upgrade advisor first thing.
 

xenon2000

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[citation][nom]swordrage[/nom]"Oddly, when you have so many apps open that you run out of space on the Switcher, apps start disappearing. ............... .. ......your vertical resolution" (Paragrapph: 4, page: Switcher). Now I am thinking whether to upgrade or to wait.[/citation]

FYI, the "switcher" on the left combines all Desktop and non-Windows 8 "modern" tile apps, as 1. Also, it only holds as many thumbnails as your vertical resolution as you said. But if you use mostly desktop apps, like the desktop version of browsers, Photoshop, etc. The non-Tile based apps. Then Alt_Tab shows that they are all running just like Windows 7.

But yes, for my 1050 vertical resolution, I can only have 8 open "Tile" based apps to switch between using Win+Tab, Alt+Tab, or Switcher bar. If you plan to use mostly apps and games you have been using with Windows 7, then this aspect doesn't matter.
 

lradunovic77

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When I tested hibernation which I recommend to disable on SSD setup shit boots up and shuts down just like Windows 7. Not any faster or slower. As I said Windows 8 is Windows 7 with SP2 and broken UI and few things disabled by default as far as services goes.
 

Dashkatt

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[citation][nom]SteelCity1981[/nom]Without Aero the Windows in Windows 8 looks like something you would see in Windows Windows 9x which makes Windows 7 with Aero look more modern then Windows 8 without Aero. I would even say Windows XP's Luna Windows looks more modern then Windows 8 Windows.I gave Windows 8 a chance for months in its preview version and not much has changed since the preview version went to the RTM version and always found myself navigating back to Windows 7. I mean Windows 8 felt like an OS that had things i didn't want then an OS that had things I did want. I didn't want a Modern UI as my main screen. I didn't want MS to get rid of the start menu, I didn't want Aeroless Windows that looks like something you would see on Windows 9x. Sure there are programs like classic shell the helps ease the pain of not having a start menu, but that won't be a gurantee to always work esp if MS tries to block it from working with future update patches to Windows 8. And even if they don't patch it all i'm doing is trying to make Windows 8 look like Windows 7 so why don't just stick with Windows 7 instead if that's the case. Now I think Windows 8 is great on touch screen devices, but for pc's it's another story. Which is why I always thought that MS should have made two diff versions of Windows 8 one for touch screens and one for non touch screens without the Modern UI and with a start menu. Those two simple changes would have made a lot more people that use anon touch screen pc more satisfied with Windows 8.I read people on here saying people are haters of Windows 8, but those so called haters of Windows 8 reflect on reality off the frustration that most consumers will feel the first time they try to use Windows 8. I think what some of you are missing is the avg consumer that aren't tech savvy doesn't like a lot of change presented to them at once, because it took them a while to understand the Windows that they are using now and making a big change to that will generate almost instant frustration and this is where I feel MS is at a big disconnect with Windows 8 and the avg consumer who are vastly makeup the computer market and when you impose something that seems radical to them and what they have been soo used to for years, it's going to have a big negative effect on that product.[/citation]

Just one question: Does Windows 8 have a pop up that will explain the difference between the words, "THEN and THAN"? ;)
 

dr-hoads

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Great detailed review. Thanks Tom's. As for my thoughts on Win8: While I would appreciate a simple choice at 1st login (classic UI or Modern UI) and a way to change it in control panel, I do not feel that my productivity has been hindered in any way by the lack of the start menu. Keyboard shortcuts and right clicking the "start" location give me access to most of my common stuff. Otherwise searching for an app/file in the new start screen works well enough. I have not tried to search for *.jpg from 1/1/2009 to 12/31/2009 kind of thing yet, but that type of search has been needlessly complicated since vista. Anyway, I like 8 and upgraded. I figured why not stay current. I just hope that they are not trying to move to modern UI only for Win 9, 10 as it is absolutely not as productive with keyboard/mouse interface as legacy desktop apps. I can deal with the hybrid, but a loss of the desktop would be a travesty to computing.
 

augiem

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>> Using a local account instead of a Windows account means that you cannot use the
>> Windows Store or any Windows UI 8 app not already pre-installed.

This is absolutely untrue. I am using a local account on two computers. All you have to do is have a Windows account and sign in once in Windows Store. From then on you can download whatever you want.

>> Live tiles are replacing windows. That's what's happening, and it's a big deal.

This is a completely ridiculous statement. Live tiles are replacing ICONS, not Windows. They're not even remotely close to the same concept. A live tile is a launcher with an RSS feed attached. A window is a pane containing a program interface that you can resize and move around to in which you perform work. This is not even apples to oranges. It's more like apples to monkeys.

What IS replacing windows is locked full screen displays that scroll infintely to the right and can be split-docked at 1/5 and 4/5 widths. This may be useful for tablets/phones, but I'm sorry, this can NEVER replace windows on a desktop.
 

hannibal

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[citation][nom]aarowsmith[/nom]Getting rid of Aeroglass is a big step backwards, why? Because it makes Windows look like pre XP and almost as bad as Windows 98. [/citation]

Well they need something that will sell win9. Tile UI with aeroglass touch :) We can be sure that tranparent windows will be back in the future. My crystall ball says that we will have 3d tiles and/or semi transparent tiles somewhere in the future.

What I would very much like to see tested is win8 in smaller that HD screen, win8 in HD resolution and win8 in higher resolution than HD. How well does this tile system and fonts scale with different resolutions?
 
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Hey all, great review from Toms, i consider myself a power user (programmer, IT manager), i am not a unix or power shell guy, but i do know what i am talking about. windows 8 from a productivity side is good, is it good enough to upgrade from windows 7 - probably not considering most businesses only started using windows 7 a year ago. If your business is heavily invested in windows 7, don't even bother looking at win 8, if you are upgrading from win xp, Win 8 is a viable option, it would be a toss up between win 7 and win 8. Not having a start button on the business side doesn't effect 99% of the users.

Now the good stuff (home users) - Win 8 is fast, it feels snappier, more responsive than anything i ever used. i love seeing the transfer status window when moving files around. the desktop UI just feels tighter than win 7. the task manager is magnificent, seeing services in there is nice, really nice, the new metro apps look good, and offer a breath of fresh air to old apps like notepad and calculator.

IE 10 - good to great browser, only annoying thing about IE is when you download known file types it doesn't open it for you right away. it protects the causal user but for me, an extra click is freakin painful!

Now the Cat's Meow - Win 8 Hyper V (Type 1) - SO AWESOME (bye VM workstation type 2) - finally something that is free, useful for work and play. Have an app or program you want to test, fire up hyper v, need to do some "downloading", put it on a VM. If any of you run any type of torrents off of your work, home computer and not in a VM mode, shame on you, go out to your local butcher shop and get your hands chopped off, you don't deserve to use a computer.
 

tom10i

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I installed on Sunday. It didn't go nearly as smooth as you and most sources indicate. After two time thru, called and go someone from a foreign country who read from a script and could hardly be understood by me. Had to do full install, losing all my stuff (fortunately had backups for everything.)

Dropped Norton Suite for Windows own antivirus, firewall et al. It's nice integrated. No more Norton and its interesting manner of subverting various other software, yea!

Once it installed found that Photos failed to pick up my pictures stored on my 'd' drive and on Monday spend two hours while a MS support person proceeded to try all the things that had done and found she couldn't make it work either!

Had to ditch my Norton Ghost, as they don't yet have an application that plays nicely with WIN 8; or was rather that they want to wait and try and sell us a new version of what we've already paid for. At any rate they have disabled the passwords for all WIN 7 apps. Not the best company.

I thought the new version was clunky when I tested, but as I use it more, I really like it. That's not an easy thing for someone who started running the old IBM 1130 with fortran 4 and punch cards.

All in all, a time consuming but positive experience for me.
 

iLLz

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PROTIP: Drag the mouse to the BOTTOM LEFT HAND corner until the start page icon appears. Then RIGHT CLICK the mouse. BOOM, you got a new menu that appears with all the power user stuff that most people used the start menu for.

You can also use the WinKey+X to do the same thing, but right clicking the lower left hand corner is another way for those who use the mouse a lot.

Not sure if this was in the article, so I thought I'd mention it.
 

xaephod

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Now is a good chance for Linux to make a bigger part of the pc market. OSX is build on Unix, why can't someone make a linux distro that is completely polished? Ever try to install flash player in Linux where you have to use the terminal to do it? Aargh?

As for windows 8. I will give it a "Pass". Why pay for a non-upgrade. There is no reason to buy it if you have Windows 7 unless you are bored with things just working correctly and you like having the latest and not so greatest. Windows 8 is not an upgrade and people who say they are upgrading don't know the definitely of upgrade. Its more of a lateral move.

95 was a big jump over 3.1
xp was a big jump over 95
Vista was a big jump over xp (but it wasn't perfect, and windows 7 perfected it)
Windows 8? No big leap, just a hop to the left.
 

zane87

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IN WINDOWS 8, PRO, RT; RIGHT CLICK THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER WHERE THE START MENU USED TO BE AND SEE WHAT YOU GET.

IN WINDOWS 8, PRO, RT; RIGHT CLICK THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER WHERE THE START MENU USED TO BE AND SEE WHAT YOU GET.

IN WINDOWS 8, PRO, RT; RIGHT CLICK THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER WHERE THE START MENU USED TO BE AND SEE WHAT YOU GET.

IN WINDOWS 8, PRO, RT; RIGHT CLICK THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER WHERE THE START MENU USED TO BE AND SEE WHAT YOU GET.
 

zane87

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IN WINDOWS 8, PRO, RT; RIGHT CLICK THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER WHERE THE START MENU USED TO BE AND SEE WHAT YOU GET.

IN WINDOWS 8, PRO, RT; RIGHT CLICK THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER WHERE THE START MENU USED TO BE AND SEE WHAT YOU GET.

IN WINDOWS 8, PRO, RT; RIGHT CLICK THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER WHERE THE START MENU USED TO BE AND SEE WHAT YOU GET.

IN WINDOWS 8, PRO, RT; RIGHT CLICK THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER WHERE THE START MENU USED TO BE AND SEE WHAT YOU GET.
 
Still not impressed. Sorry.

I would end up using the desktop "app" more than Windows 8 UI anyway, so what's the point of "upgrading" from Win 7?

Sure, there are a couple nice things, but not enough, especially if you're still rockin' a mouse and keyboard.
 
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